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Lucky Generals invests in first sports marketing startup as agency plots expansion

Lucky Generals

Creative shop Lucky Generals has invested in a sports marketing startup as the agency looks to expand its offering three years after opening its doors.

Called Dark Horses, the company is led by Simon Dent, formerly business director at BBH Sport. Lucky Enterprises will own a majority share in the business but Dent will also own a significant stake.

It will sit within Lucky Generals’ Clarkenwell office and while it will pitch independently and have its own clients, Dark Horses will also be able to tap into Lucky Generals creative resources.

Likewise, the creative agency will be able to lean on the experience of Dent – a qualified solicitor who prior to BBH had spent more than 10 years working as a sports agent and lawyer – when it comes to talking about commercial partners, rights holders and talent with its clients.

Of the more obvious brands on Lucky Generals’ client roster to benefit from Dark Horses’ integration are Paddy Power and Betfair, however with Twitter’s recent entry into the sports arena it will undoubtedly give Lucky Generals added arsenal with it comes to its work with the social network.

"Sports marketing is a growing sector and one which should be inherently exciting,” said founder Andy Nairn.

“But all too often, the creative product off the park isn't as strong as the one on the pitch. We think it's ripe for a completely new approach".

It comes following the launch of Lucky Enterprises holding group structure earlier this year. It’s Lucky Generals’ way of expanding organically beyond the traditional creative remit and into areas like sports marketing, PR etc.

The idea is that both the startup and Lucky Generals will grow into these new sectors together, mitigating the risk of acquiring and trying to integrate fully formed businesses.

It's a strategy fellow creative agency Iris recently embarked on. Dubbed Iris Sport, the division promises potential clients activations that are “more provocative” and “more challenging” than what’s currently being invested in, pushing them beyond the inventory led plans that define traditional strategies.

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